Minimizing Your Eco-Footprint When Buying a New Computer

Many people believe that computers and technology are actually minimizing the eco-footprint of today’s digitally connected world. The truth is that while large amounts of paper may be saved by computers and personal computing devices, information technology is actually costing around 8 billions dollars annually in electrical costs in the United States alone. Combine that with carbon emissions – and it becomes evident just how important it is to ‘think green,’ when purchasing a new computer. In the long run, buying green technological devices not only saves YOU money, but also lends a conscious ode to the environment.

Today, computer companies are continuously looking for more environmentally friendly products. As regulations get tighter and lobbyists call for responsibility on the part of technology companies – a perfectly eco-friendly computer is in the future. Until it arrives however, there are a few things that you can do to ensure you are doing your part.

Think Size!

A laptop consumes around 5 times less energy than a desktop. Plus, most laptops do not utilize as much electricity as their desktop brethren. In today’s competitive market – you won’t have to trade functionality by choosing a laptop computer.


If you were to compare a 19-inch LCD screen to a 19-inch CRT screen, you would see that the LCD uses only 1/3 of the power. Many LCD monitors on the market today, are ENERGY STAR rated, which means it will utilize only around 1-2 watts of power in the stand-by mode.

Check out EPEAT.

EPEAT is the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool Despite regulations and out cries from the public to reduce the amounts of toxic chemicals used in computers, most are still busting at the seems with hazardous components. According to the EPA, if consumers would check the EPEAT rating before purchasing and purchase those with the best ratings (meaning most environmentally friendly), millions of pounds of hazardous waste could be reduced annually.

Ask Your Dealer About PSU?

PSU is short for the power supply unit that comes with your computer. In recent years a voluntary, 80 plus program has been producing power supply units which are conscious of electronic use. So, by switching out your PSU, you could not only improve the cost effectiveness of running your device, but also can eliminate the need for computer fans because the power source is not heat generated.

Dual Core Technology.

In head-to-head studies, dual or duo core computers are said to be faster and more energy efficient than single core processors. They only power up certain computer components as necessary and are able to do the computer jobs faster, meaning less electrical pull than single core processors. Essentially, you get more performance from your computer, with less environmental draws.

The good news is that buying eco-friendly computer products does not mean that you will have to spend more money. Purchasing eco-friendly computers may take a little more elbow grease for the buyer, in terms of research and shopping, but does not make significant difference at the cash register.

And of course, recycle! It is estimated that less than 10% of all computers being thrown away are being disposed of properly, or recycled. Look for recycling programs or buy-back programs such as the one offered by Dell, that makes replacing a computer a less environmentally threatening endeavor.

About the Author

Frank Anderson is a technology writer for He works with mail exchange hosting as well as many other hosting machines.

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